Carrot Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts

I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. 

Are you ready for a week of delicious walnut recipes?

Walnuts are a delicious and versatile ingredient that is the perfect complement to other whole foods for nutritious, tasty meals and snacks. I hadn’t cooked much with nuts in the past, so I used my sister’s book, called The Flavor Thesaurus by Niki Segnit, to get inspired. This book suggests pairings and ideas for creative cooking. I was impressed by the wide range of foods that walnuts pair with, including cauliflower, grapes, chicken, pear, and many others including the main ingredients in this simple salad recipe: apples, carrots, honey, cinnamon, and ginger!

Walnuts taste bittersweet, but the tannic flavor is minimized when you roast them. This also brings out the roasted nuttiness of the walnuts and enhances their crunchy texture, both of which work wonderfully in this light salad.

Carrot Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh, sweet, and crunchy summer salad.


1/2 cup walnut halves

1 large green apple

3 medium carrots

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon honey (optional)

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant but not dark. Set aside to cool.
  2. Grate the apple and carrots into a large bowl using a box grater or food processor with grater blade.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, cinnamon, and ginger. Pour over the carrots and apples.
  4.  Chop the walnuts roughly, add to the bowl, and stir everything together. Serve immediately or chill for an hour or two.

I’m not a huge fan of dried fruit, but it would be a fabulous way to add some extra sweetness to this salad. The next time I make it, I may toss in a handful of dried cranberries or raisins. If you try that, let me know if you like it!


Creamy Vegan Risotto

I received free samples of Progresso Cooking Stock mentioned in this post at no cost. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Progresso Cooking Stock and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Risotto has always been an intimidating dish to me. I always assumed it takes a lot of culinary skill to make it properly. In fact, my first attempt at making risotto in the oven failed miserably. Fortunately, my sister is a chef and she took the time to show me the right way to make it. Turns out it’s not very difficult or time consuming! The most important thing is to pay attention to the rice to keep it from getting overcooked and gluey.

Agata taught me to make a very creamy risotto with parmesan and mascarpone. It was incredibly delicious!! For this Recipe Redux challenge, I decided to make a risotto that is just as creamy without the addition of cheese. I’m so excited to show you that it’s possible to make a flavorful, creamy risotto dish that is completely vegan! Thanks to Progresso’s Vegetable Cooking Stock, you get depth of savory flavor without animal products. The #ProgressoEatsContest gave me the opportunity to experiment a bit.

In case you didn’t know that Progresso launched a line of tasty cooking stocks, here are some details about the products:

  • Now available in grocery stores nationwide in the soup aisle, Progresso premium Cooking Stocks are made by simmering real bones, vegetables and herbs to create a flavor that’s close to homemade.
  • Due to the process Progresso’s chefs use to simmer the real bones, Progresso Cooking Stocks have rich, meaty flavor and are full of body, making them ideal for adding deep, complex flavor to many dishes including soups, stews, sauces and gravies.
  • Made without artificial flavors and with just 15-45 calories /95-420mg sodium /0-1g fat per serving, Progresso Stocks offers a clean way to boost your flavor game.

I used the chicken stock to make a delicious soup, but was even more impressed with the depth of flavor imparted by the hearty vegetable stock. It really shines through in this recipe!



(Serves 3-4)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1 clove minced garlic

3/4 cup arborio rice

1/3 cup dry white wine

3 cups simmering Progresso Vegetable Cooking Stock

1/2 cup diced mushrooms

1/2 cup frozen peas

salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and stir constantly until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic and arborio rice to the saucepan. Stir constantly to coat with olive oil and toast, another 3 minutes.
  3. Add the white wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed and some of the alcohol has cooked off, another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add enough vegetable stock to just cover the rice. Stir constantly until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup of stock to the rice. Repeat this process of adding the stock gradually and stirring frequently until the rice is cooked al dente. Do not overcook! The process of adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time should take about 15-20 minutes over medium-high heat.
  5. Fold in mushrooms and frozen peas. Stir for about 2 minutes until the vegetables are heated through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

The whole process takes less than 45 minutes and is well worth the effort! This risotto is creamy like mac n’ cheese and maintains a nice texture from the al dente cooked rice and pop of the green peas. Enjoy!


GF Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Don’t question it, just make these cookies and let them blow your mind. Perfect. Moist. Soft. Chewy. Vegan… Gluten free… Paleo-ish.

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Additional stevia or brown sugar to adjust sweetness
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
As many carob chips (or chocolate chips) as you like

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Purée the beans in a food processor or blender. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

2. Fold in remaining ingredients and combine well. Spoon onto lightly greased baking sheet to make about 10-12 cookies. Bake for 10 mins or until bottoms are golden.


Please make these! They’re amazing.